July 9, 2012

Monday Morning Hilarity, or We Are Officially Through the Looking Glass

Thanks to Johnatan Chait writing in the New York Magazine blog "Daily Intel" I was clued in to an article in the NYT by one of my new favorite journos, Robert Draper.  (He wrote this book about the 112th Congress that I recommend you read.)  It's a long piece about the mismatch in super PAC fundraising efforts between the two parties.  The focus is on Bill Burton and Sean Sweeney, the two guys running the super PAC supporting Obama's re-election efforts, Priorities USA Action.  It's an interesting read mostly about the existential crisis Democrats are having with the realization that they need to fight super PAC fire with super PAC fire, and the ways in which Burton and Sweeney have attempted to define the public characterization of Mitt Romney.  I recommend reading the entire thing, but here are by far the most simultaneously fun and distressing tidbits from the article:

While conducting a different focus group — this one with non-college-educated Milwaukee voters on the eve of Wisconsin’s April 3 primary — Burton and Sweeney were surprised to learn that even after Romney had spent months campaigning, many in the group could not recognize his face, much less characterize his positions.

Burton and his colleagues spent the early months of 2012 trying out the pitch that Romney was the most far-right presidential candidate since Barry Goldwater. It fell flat. The public did not view Romney as an extremist. For example, when Priorities informed a focus group that Romney supported the Ryan budget plan — and thus championed “ending Medicare as we know it” — while also advocating tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, the respondents simply refused to believe any politician would do such a thing.
Or as Chait paraphrases in his blog post:

[C]utting Medicare in order to clear budgetary headroom for tax cuts for the rich, while an accurate description of the Ryan plan, struck those voters as so cartoonishly evil that they found the charge implausible.

I can't see how I can possibly top that, so I'll just close this post by sighing audibly and inserting this picture from the past that may also signal our country's future...
Willard "Mitt" Romney: "All your money are belong to us."

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